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Vermiculite recommendation

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Sharno, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Sharno

    Sharno Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    Hi all,

    I've been getting my vermiculite from my reptile store and it comes in unmarked bags. I'd rather just order some from amazon, but there are so many varieties, and I want to make sure it is safe for my tarantulas. Can anyone take a look at this link and let me know which brand/type is safe? Or what I should look for? Thanks so much!

  2. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Vermiculite isn't really a good substrate, and mixing it with other substrate is merely more work for you. Just get some cheap soil and be done with it, no reason to add cost and time to an already great sub. I'd simply ignore vermiculite and go another (better) direction.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Sharno

    Sharno Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    I have been using coco fibre (the kind that comes in bricks, you add water, make it nice and fluffy and then dry it out a bit))....the drier species are fine, but I find with the slings the stuff responds poorly to being slightly moistened. Eventually it just gets disgusting. I also found it's hard to re-moistened when it dries in the tub, unless I am doing it wrong. When I have bought slings at shows, they are always in vermiculite. So it's for the slings, not the adults.
  4. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    I've never used the fiber bricks, I just don't like it...waaaaaay too labor intensive, so I cannot comment on it directly. The bagged stuff's better IMO. I also have used "jungle mix" for years, which I like a lot and is carried at most stores. You can also just use cheap soil, you can get a big old bag for under $5....poec gets his ridiculously cheap at menards (I believe). ALL better options than vermiculite...especially for slings. I'd personally never put a sling (or any t) on vermiculite.....but that's just me.

    Just because it was used at a show, doesn't mean its the best option or even a good one. :wink: I've seen some sold on wood chips and sawdust....just terrible.
  5. Martin1975

    Martin1975 Arachnoknight

    I only use cocopeat,I used to use peatmoss but that always tended to result in issues. I use this with all my tarantulas,one brick makes more than enough about a 10 ltr buckets worth.
  6. Sharno

    Sharno Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    Is this the "jungle mix" you are talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Zilla-11305-J...TF8&qid=1420568176&sr=8-1&keywords=jungle+mix

    It looks so sharp (almost like wood chips but smaller, lighter) -- do the terrestrials mind it under their feet?

    As you can see I'd love to just order off amazon and have stuff delivered to me. I was ok with the co co fibre and bricks for awhile but it's not working well for my slings. Sad to hear people aren't on board with the vermiculite. So far since I moved all my slings (about 75) to that substrate, I haven't had one die or any of the containers dry out prematurely, and the burrowers are burrowing happily. When I used the co co fibre I ended up having to change it out every few weeks.
  7. skar

    skar Arachnobaron

    I agree that vermiculite really is unnecessary, used by itself is normally not a good option.
    Soil always had a tendency to mold in my experience.
    Peat moss is all I use, even mantid's have done well with it.
    Slings and adults have thrived with peat.
  8. That jungle mix looks good. There are pecies of sticks mixed in you can pick that out or strain it out with pasta strainer to make a super fine substrate. Don't use pasta strainer on spaghetti night everyone gets bent out of shape. They just don't understand. I personally get a large bag of peat that's in a compressed cube at tractor supply for under $20. Not totally sure on price it's been over a year since I bought it and have quit a bit left after 7 enclosures. It doesn't have composted for in it like the jungle mix but you get a more at a better price. Farmers use peat for a soil amendment it helps break up soil that clumps together. It looks a hole lot more natural than coco fiber and my gramastola pottier loves it she actually digs in this stuff. She went from pet rock to using her hide and even escavating her burrow. This is just my experience with the peat.

    ARACHNO-SMACK48 Arachnoknight

    The jungle mix looks terrible. No better than using wood chips. Just do the T's a favor and put them on some eco earth, peat moss, or organic soil.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I use bagged top soil for all my spiders, which is what many live in in the wild, unlike cocofiber.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Man you must be really lazy! It's not that hard haha

    When I got into the hobby everyone used vermiculite and we all knew it sucked.

    Poec: What do you think about the perlite that comes in every soil I am able to find? I'd prefer to have the top soil without the perlite... I tried removing the big chunks once and I looked idiotic sitting there with a colander sifting the dirt very slowly. :exhausted:
  12. Sharno

    Sharno Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

  13. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    The cheap stuff at Home Depot, Timberline brand down here, doesn't have anything added.

    ---------- Post added 01-06-2015 at 04:35 PM ----------

    Why would you mail order dirt? Go to a nursery supply store and load up. Just make sure they don't store it next to, or under, chemicals or pesticides.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Sharno

    Sharno Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    I received an amazon gc for the holidays. Nothing I would rather spend it on than tarantula supplies. The nursery here is a pain to get to and I don't trust that they WOULD store it near chemicals.
  15. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    No, that's very different than the "jungle mix" I used to buy. I wouldn't use that.

    You had to change it out every few weeks...wtf, that makes no sense unless the enclosure was poorly ventilated and the sub was wet, which would result in quick mold issues...if that's it, you need to adjust the enclosures before your spotless record becomes blemished.

    I only change sub in an emergency situation (being over-run with mold would qualify, I've never had this occur)...in fact I have one t with sub that's a decade old, no problems with it.

    Problemchild...I just have better things I'd rather do with my time than re-constituting substrate. So much more convenient to just reach in a bag and be done.
  16. Yeah I was just joking, I buy bags of loose as well.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    haha, I kinda figured.;P :biggrin:
  18. I've been buying the CoCo Cradle in the bag from Josh's Frogs. I do have some EcoEarth bricks, but have not used them because I didn't want to have wait for the dry-out (or worse, have my Ts hanging on their walls waiting for the dry-out).

    ---------- Post added 01-06-2015 at 06:26 PM ----------

    Oh, and especially for slings, sometimes I sift the stuff, get the bigger twiggy/chunky stuff out.

    ARACHNO-SMACK48 Arachnoknight

    I highly doubt the T notices much difference between coco fiber and topsoil.
  20. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I think they do. Their tarsi are very sensitive. Top soil is what many of them live in, virtually none in the wild live under coconut palms.
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